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fictionary… 8 megapixel artist… bloody awful poet.

Archive for the tag “humanity”

birthday girl

All I can say is, love exists.

Happy Birthday, Ruby.

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so this is what it feels like

Logan: “Take your friends and run… they’ll keep coming, and coming… you don’t have to fight anymore.”

Logan (again): “Go… don’t be what they made you.”

Logan: “Laura…”

Laura: “Daddy.”

Logan (smiles) “So… this is what it feels like.”

(Logan dies)

Yeah, in case you hadn’t seen it, I just spoiled the ending for you. Logan dies. It happens in the best of comic book families, to the best of characters. It happens to the best of creators, too.

Today, Marvel Comics immortal, Stan Lee found out “what it feels like”, at the age of 95. Every corner of the Internet blew up all at once with the news. My corner, especially. Most of the posts from my friends mention something about their childhood.

Mine does not.

That’s because Stan Lee’s Marvel Universe meant nothing to me as a child. You see, I geeked late in life, comparatively. Stan Lee’s Universe only came to mean something to me as a tired, jaded old man who came to see his need of larger-than-life heroes to show him a path never before taken.

In particular, James Logan. The Wolverine. A tired, jaded old man on final approach for eternity. A lot like his creator, Stan Lee. Last year, the cinematic character of Wolverine passed from this life in a brutally beautiful blaze of character glory.

Today, Stan Lee followed along, as quietly as Logan at the end of his own story. Stan Lee always reminded me of Logan, in life, and now in death. And now I admit, publicly, why James Logan… The Wolverine… is my favorite Marvel character.

And why I remain in no hurry to know what two larger-than-life characters know, but less afraid of that knowledge for their existing, in the real world, and the world imagined.

Thank you Stan, for James Logan. Thank you for being the inspiration of my latter years more than my first.

Excelsior.

watcher

She is the watcher,

over all,

over me,

over the street,

from one end

to the other.

But the watcher

doesn’t see

that we

are watching

over her.

by its cover

This face, a book.

Judged by its cover.

A pair of eyes,

if you’re interested enough to read. But no book tells the whole story. You need to be the story to know it. Maybe one day you’ll tell someone, a stranger, a friend… doesn’t matter… “I read that book, once”. But you didn’t know the story.

This face, a book.

Judged by it’s cover.

a dog

An elegy in metaphor, or some such construct of modern poetic license. Anyway, this morning I was feeling all dog-honoring. Therefore, to all the dogs.

Bill

buying gas

The man with the tank bigger than mine paid with a hundred for “Twenty-five on number two”. The guy behind the bulletproof glass held the hundred up to the light to see if it was real. When the change came back, the man held a twenty up to the light to see if IT was real… then smiled.

I laughed.

Disenfranchised

disenfranchised png

I lost a child.  You lost a parent.  She lost a spouse.  He lost a limb.  We lose what we lose, and when it’s lost, it is gone.  Not misplaced. 

Not missing like car keys to be found five minutes later next to the half-and-half in the fridge. 

But missing like one minute you’re saying “Good morning”, “Goodnight”, “See you soon”, and the next, you’re never saying it again, except to a ghost.

This is grief, unless it’s not your child, your parent, your spouse, or your limb.  Then, it’s an excuse, a personal problem, a character flaw.  And it isn’t even that your grief doesn’t belong to you, it’s that you don’t belong to your grief.

You are disenfranchised.

From your pain.  From your love.  From your god-granted human experience.  From all of it. 

You are disenfranchised. 

She lost a best friend?  Get over it.  He lost a girlfriend?  Get over it.  They lost a reason to get out of bed in the morning?  Get the fuck over it. 

When our right to grieve is denied us, except within the boxes others say must be checked.  When all love is love, but not all grief is grief.  When pain and mourning require blood kin for legitimacy.  And when the dignity to recover, as we are, is questioned, we are disenfranchised.

And if you wonder why this story has no end, it is because, like an end to grief, there isn’t one.  Because like you, like me, like he, like she, it, and we, remain disenfranchised.

 

© Copyright 2018 William S. Friday

A Day in an Invisible Life: Hour 6

A Day in an Invisible Life (9)

I feel.

(and by the way, I hate it)

I don’t know why.  I don’t know when.  But there are days that, after a rush of accomplishment, there is a vacuum created inside of me.  It’s almost a physical property, like when a low pressure system moves into a geographic location, and soon after, the real weather moves in.  Dark clouds, heavy with rain.  Wind.  Thunder.  Lightning.  You can taste it. 

Sometimes, the hair on your arms even stands up.

I feel this.

(and by the way, I hate it)

I’m feeling it right now.

And just like the weather, I never know what emotion will blow in when the low pressure system comes.  Today, it’s sadness.  But let’s be clear, today it’s ONLY sadness.  Not depression like the depression that came last summer.  That was a fucking weather Armageddon.  That was purple-black funnel clouds, with cows spinning inside them.  This is just sadness.  Like on another day, it’s just anger, or another day, it’s fear, anticipation, or even joy.

Today, it’s sadness.  And I’m writing my way through it.  It’s how I learned to cope, last summer.  And I’m coping right now.  Hell, I’m even writing a blog post and not matchbook poetry, which was about all I could do in 2017.  Matchbook poetry.  Poetry so short, it could fit on the cover of a matchbook.  Yeah, it’s a thing.  Anyway, if you’ve read the first five posts in this series, and shame on you if you haven’t… I’m laughing as I write that… you know that I’m okay, and you are not to call the authorities when you read shit like “sadness”, “anger”, or “weather Armageddon” in a sentence.  Buddha Bukowski 5 BETTER ENDINGYou also know that, while I have spent the last decade writing poetry that would make Mary Poppins cry, I still believe in the better ending. 

Here’s a picture of a shirt design I created that says so. 

And that I believe all these feelings, these feelings that are as common to everyone as they are to me, are just a part of the earthscape that I’ve been put here to describe, in words that are insufficient.  Which is why I try, every day.  Because maybe, if I try, every day, better words will appear than “sadness” and “anger”.  And you will read them, and know that you are not alone.       

Because when we feel, we are never alone.

(and by the way, even if we hate it)

 

© Copyright 2018 William S. Friday   

A Day in an Invisible Life: Hour 5

A Day in an Invisible Life (6)

I write.

Writing is something I never thought I would do.  In the dedication of my first book, I thanked the junior college English teacher who actually, briefly, encouraged me in the notes of turned-in poetry and prose assignments for her composition class. 

Then I did nothing with words for another 25 years.

With what’s left of this morning, I’ll be writing.

Writer’s block is my friend.  The reason I’m a poet is because of a horrible case of writer’s block about 10 years ago.  I thought I was on my way to being an internet-famous journalist, back when there was such a thing.  I wrote for a site, now long gone, and after a few years of doing that, I simply ran out of words.  Looking back, I’m pretty sure what I ran out of was bullshit.  At least that one particular vein of bullshit I had been mining for hits and likes on that site.  Given how small the pond, for a time, I was a pretty big fish in it, and the idea that I would just run out of ideas was something I wasn’t ready for.  I don’t think anyone is ever really ready for a lie to catch up to them.  The truth was, I wasn’t cut out for that kind of writing.  Deadlines and promises and the responsibilities of a byline had sucked all the clever right out of me.  When I sat down in front of the screen to write, all that was left was a head full of feelings, and a string of incomplete sentences to describe them. 

So after a while, I did just that.  I wrote in short sentences.  I used small words.  And before I wrote, I felt.  Because these were no longer word counts, they were what counts.  I sucked at it, but the what counts started bleeding out of me.  My writing changed, and eventually, I changed.  A little.  I’m still changing.

Except for the process of how I write poetry.  I still do that the way I did when I was a wannabe, writer’s blocked journalist.  On a computer.  It wasn’t until the last year of scribbling in a journal (see the earlier post, Hour 2, for that story) that I could write anything poetic other than by typing. 

My last holdover from those bad old days.

So in this hour, after what feels like a whole day has already passed, I write.  It’s a loose habit now.  Less about discipline and more about need.  I’ve written three books this way so far.  Not out of responsibility, but out of desperation.  All those years ago, when the words stopped coming, it was because there was something more important than words on the way to replace them.  A lifetime of thoughts and feelings, love and pain, and the need to translate them into a language I had never known before.

This may take more than one hour today.

 

© Copyright 2018 William S. Friday

A Day in an Invisible Life: Hour 4

A Day in an Invisible Life (8)

I need to eat something.

I have a stupid high metabolism.  Always have.  Hypoglycemic high, even.  It was inherited.  Hungry sneaks up on me like a kitchen ninja, who sneaks up on you while you’re staring into the fridge.  A really boring ninja. 

Food is always boring.  Boring like that ninja in your kitchen.

Unless I’m actually hungry, because… hypoglycemia.  Except on THIS day, I haven’t been to the grocery store for 5 days past when all the food I want to eat is gone. 

When I’m hungry, food becomes almost exciting.  Not like most people… okay, people who aren’t me… think of as exciting.  Not like 5-Star dining with a whisky bar the size of the closed end of the LA Coliseum exciting.  More like, I have a can of refried black beans with jalapenos, a 6 month old frozen slice of beef brisket, 2 eggs, a jar of salsa past its expiration date, and a few street taco sized corn tortillas, exciting.

Kinda like the ‘I’m hungry and can’t go anywhere’ version of Food Network’s Chopped.  I become competitive with myself.  The-contestant-judging-himself kind of competitive.  Where the only win at the end of the game is, did I like it enough to eat it.  On this day, I did.  And, a little secret, I’m getting good at making my own pan fried tostadas.tostadas png

Apologies to all my Keto brothers and sisters.

So, since you can’t all eat my homemade desperation cooking, here’s a bonus picture.  Sorry if I’m too hungry to talk about it, anymore. And now that I’ve eaten, let’s see what kind of trouble I can get into for Hour 5.

 

© Copyright 2018 William S. Friday

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